A 3-1 victory at Avangard sees SKA set a new record for consecutive wins from the start of the season, and a new mark for consecutive games with a power play goal. In both cases, the magic number is now 13 and counting. Elsewhere, CSKA suffered a surprise 4-0 loss at Jokerit, Dynamo Moscow blanked Sibir to record a first shut-out for young goalie Ivan Bocharov and Barys got back to winning form with a 4-1 dismissal of Dinamo Minsk. And there was a 13-goal thriller in Moscow, where Spartak edged Admiral 7-6 in overtime.
Dynamo’s 22-year-old goalie Ivan Bocharov has been making his first steps in the KHL this season – and today brought up a real landmark for the youngster. He picked up his first career shut-out at this level, blanking Sibir and helping his team to a 2-0 victory.
This was a game where goalies were on top for much of the time. Bocharov produced a flawless 24-save performance, while at the other end Alexander Salak frustrated the Dynamo offense until the 53rd minute, when Yegor Yakovlev opened the scoring. That was the 21-year-old’s first goal for Dynamo after his summer switch from Admiral.
Another youngster, Nikita Komarov, added an empty net goal to finish the job; for Dynamo, reliance on young prospects is key to this season’s progress.
SKA won its 13th consecutive game from the start of the season, improving on its own record winning start of 12 games in 2014-15. Along the way, the defending champion halted Avangard’s four-game unbeaten run, and also set a new record for consecutive games with a power play goal. SKA’s special teams have clicked in every game this season, improving on Sochi’s 12-game run last season.
That power play marker, scored by Sergei Kalinin, was SKA’s first of the night – but it came as an equalizer after Dennis Everberg put the home team in front in the 10th minute. Kalinin tied it up and David Rundblad’s first goal in the KHL – with a Kalinin assist – gave the visitor the lead going into the first intermission. Head coach Oleg Znarok reckoned that his team hadn’t started a game so badly all season, even though it led after 20 minutes.
Only Dominik Furch stood between the league leader and a more comfortable advantage after the second period. Avangard’s Czech goalie made 13 saves in a busy session, and he continued to frustrate the visitor for much of the final stanza. But Patrik Hersley had the final say, converting a five-on-three power play in the 58th minute to put the game beyond reach and establish that record winning streak. Ugra is the next team with the unenviable task of stopping SKA; the all-time KHL record of 18 consecutive victories looks to be attainable for Oleg Znarok’s team.
It took Barys time to solve Jhonas Enroth in the Dinamo goal, but a powerful finish to the game saw the Kazakh team shrug off its back-to-back home losses against Sibir.
The game was goalless until the 49th minute, but once Matthew Frattin got the opener on Enroth, the outcome was quickly placed beyond doubt. Konstantin Pushkaryov and Vladimir Markelov scored twice in the space of 40 seconds to extend the lead to 3-0 and leave Dinamo in deep trouble.
Justin Fontain got one back for the visitor, but Pushkaryov added his second of the night into an empty net to wrap up the win for the home team.
Lokomotiv made it five wins in a row with this success against a Ugra team that has now lost its last five outings.
Jakub Nakladal’s sixth-minute opener got Loko on track, but penalty trouble invited Ugra back into the game around the midway point. The visitor was already on the penalty kill when Nikita Cherepanov picked up a 5+20 for tripping and Ivan Lekomtsev tied the scores.
Brandon Kozun reinstated Loko’s lead with a power play goal early in the third period and Daniil Apalkov gave his team a two-goal cushion soon after. Andrei Ankudinov’s reply for Ugra made the last eight minutes interesting but could not save the home team from defeat.
Jokerit produced its best performance of the season to outclass CSKA, with Ryan Zapolski earning more rave notices for his latest game-winning display.
The goalie made 25 saves to blank the Army Men, looking particularly impressive in the third period when the visitor was chasing the game hard, but this was a strong performance all over the ice.
The opening stanza set the tone. Jokerit pressed from the off, never allowed CSKA to settle and moved in front on two power play goals. Matt Gilroy and Olli Palola found the net as the KHL’s most potent PP did its stuff once again.
Niklas Jensen made it 3-0 midway through the second, but CSKA was starting to pose more of a threat. Anton Burdasov dinged one off Zapolski’s post in the 39th minute to give a foretaste of what was to come in the third, but it was as close as the visitor would come.
Adam Masuhr scored twice as Sevestal edged a lively encounter with Kunlun Red Star.
The Swedish defenseman opened the scoring in the 25th minute and got Severstal’s fifth in the 57th, securing a tight 5-4 verdict. In between, though, the action was relentless.
Brandon DeFazio cancelled out Masuhr’s opener with the first of his two goals in the 33rd minute, but Severstal responded to go 3-1 up thanks to goals from Ruslan Karlin and Dmitry Kagarlitsky either side of the second intermission.
Kunlun hit back to tie the game again when Cory Kane and Brandon Yip scored just 51 seconds apart, but the visitor ran into penalty trouble and Severstal opened another two-goal lead through Alexander Yevseyenkov and Masuhr’s second of the night. Red Star was still shorthanded when DeFazio made it 5-4 with two-and-a-half minutes left, but not even a power play in the closing moments could help Mike Keenan’s men force overtime.
There was an even higher-scoring game in Moscow, where Spartak and Admiral traded 12 goals before Spartak claimed the verdict in overtime after tying the game in the last second of regulation.
Anatoly Nikontsev got his second of the game to win it for the Red-and-Whites, even though Admiral opened a two-goal lead with less than 10 minute to play in regulation.
In the first two periods, the lead changed hands repeatedly. Admiral went ahead early through Viktor Alexandrov, but Dmitry Yudin and Igor Mirnov gave Spartak the edge at the intermission. Goals from James Wright and Vladimir Tkachyov helped Admiral turn it around again in the first half of the middle session, only for Spartak to strike back through Nikontsev and Evgeny Kulik.
Admiral seemed poised to claim a decisive advantage at the start of the third, rattling in three goals in quick succession. Alexandrov tied it up at 4-4, then Damir Zhafyarov scored twice in two minutes to make it 6-4.